The streak has been snapped! The Cowboys won their final preseason game 21-14 over the Houston Texans. It still doesn’t mean a whole lot but it was nice to see the team pick up a victory as they head into the regular season.
When the Dallas Cowboys begin their season, they’ll immediately be missing three starters. CB Orlando Scandrick was lost to an ACL/MCL injury last week, while DE Greg Hardy and LB Rolando McClain will each have to serve a four game suspension.
That being said, you will see 55 men on the roster below. The two extra men account for the roster spots that will be used while Hardy and McClain are away for four games.
|T. Crawford||T. Crawford|
|J. Crawford||J. Crawford|
It’s easy to see that the backup play behind Romo has been subpar. I don’t think that anyone has made their case to the Cowboys to encourage them to add another roster spot there. I believe they’ll roll with 2 QBs, because once we get to Romo’s backup, we’re in trouble anyway.
I think we’ll see the Cowboys go deep at DL, especially given the way Marinelli likes to rotate through players. McCray was tough to project, but given the loss of Spillman, the Cowboys may keep him around strictly for what he offers on STs, though he may not be the McCray of old.
If it were up to me, I’d be more inclined to keep Keith Smith at LB than Jasper Brinkley based on their preseason performances, but Brinkley’s contract tells me to follow the money. I’d love to see the Cowboys be bold here, and make that move… so long as they’re comfortable. We may not see that until after McClain comes back from his suspension, if at all.
The fifth WR spot is hard to predict as well, and the 5th guy may not even be on this team. But so far, Lucky has caught 4-of-6 passes thrown his way. His running with the #1s against Minnesota can only be seen as a good thing, catching a TD pass from Romo. Lucky is not to be overlooked in the run game, either, as he’s made nice blocks there for a rookie WR. I would’ve liked to see AJ Jenkins take this spot, but he’s 2-of-5 on catches thrown his way, and doesn’t play special teams. That could hurt him.
I could easily see the Cowboys cutting Gibson and Bishop once Hardy and McClain are through with their suspensions. All in all, the Cowboys don’t have very many roster spots to fill from last season, and will cut some decent talent along the way. That’s a good problem to have. I could also potentially see Hanna being used as trade bait a la Dante Rosario.
Dustin Vaughan hasn’t shown me anything to make me hesitate cutting him and going long at a position like the defensive line. Probably the biggest surprise in my projection is AJ Jenkins over Lucky Whitehead. I think Lucky lost his spot on the team when Cole Beasley proved to be an effective punt returner. He isn’t the sexy threat that you would prefer but he’s steady. That being said, I don’t think Jenkins spot is safe. While he has come on in recent weeks and he does have great draft pedigree I believe his spot is available should a WR/KR shake loose that the front office likes.
Once Week 4 rolls around Hardy and McClain will return from their suspensions prompting a pair of cuts. I’ve gone long at both linebacker and defensive line to accommodate this. I’ve liked what I have seen from the younger players so far this offseason so to make room for McClain I would cut Brinkley and keep Smith. Cutting a defensive lineman to make room for Hardy will be a tough decision.
It will likely come down to either Bishop or Edwards. However, in a perfect world the young guys will continue to push the pocket from the 1-tech position causing Hayden to become expendable. John Wetzel is an extra offensive lineman that could be replaced when Chaz Green is healthy.
The Dallas Cowboys received quite the buzz earlier in the year when they landed three first round talents from the rookie draft class. Will they be worthy of such buzz once the season begins?
Today, the Dallas Cowboys face the Minnesota Vikings in their 3rd preseason game. This team entered Training Camp with a lot of questions and some of them still remain unanswered. The 3rd preseason game is the best depiction of what your team will look like come regular season. There are a few player that we should be looking at during the game.
Tony Romo and Dez Bryant:
The 3rd preseason game is the dress rehearsal for the Cowboys. Tony Romo should be in for at least one whole quarter, so I expect him to feed his monster at Wide Receiver. We all know that Tony to Dez is a connection that is unmatched in the NFL, but I added them to my list for one specific reason. The NFL pushed back the extra point yardage, but still allows you to go for a 2 point conversion from the 2 yard line. I want to see if the Cowboys go for the 2 point conversion with weapons like WR Dez Bryant and TE Gavin “Pablo” Escobar. I say that because we have 2 big outdoor games in Green Bay and Buffalo in December, so it could be windy. It’ll be good to see Dez, Romo and the entire Offensive Line all together again.
Sean Lee hasn’t played in an NFL game since December 9th, 2013. Lee suffered a neck injury against the Chicago Bears on December 9th and then on May 27th, 2014, Lee tore his ACL on the first day of OTA’s. Marinelli moved Lee over to Weakside Linebacker to help Lee avoid injuries. Guys like Derrick Brooks and Lance Briggs have played that spot in the Marinelli defense and have had success. Lee hopes that he can be the next guy on that list. Sean has to get out there to play this new position and I think this game will be when it happens. Expect to see 50 around the ball anytime there’s a run or a pass over the middle.
Tyler Patmon in the Slot:
This one is huge because Patmon is the starting slot corner because Orlando Scandrick tore his ACL. Scandrick was the Cowboys best cornerback and maybe the best slot corner in the NFL. It’ll be a challenge to fill Scandrick’s shoes, but Patmon will definitely try. Patmon does bring fire and passion to the defense, much like Scandrick. If he can have Scandrick’s skill level, then we’ll be in good hands. Today, we’ll see if Tyler Patmon is the real deal and if he’s a feasible replacement for Orlando Scandrick or a fluke.
Darren McFadden vs Joseph Randle
This game against the Minnesota Vikings will be the day we determine the starting running back. Somebody will flourish behind this offensive line and I think it’ll be Joseph Randle. There is no concrete option at running back right now, but a big game from Randle or McFadden could land them the starting job. They’ve both been banged up and have played very sporadically in the preseason, but today, there should be no excuses. Jason Garrett and running backs coach Gary Brown should come out of this game feeling confident and 100% sure they have their running back.
Those are just 4 things that we all should be looking for during the dress rehearsal vs the Vikings. We all hope for a Cowboys win, but remember guys, the score and final decision do not mean anything either way. Just enjoy some football and watch our Boys’ continue to get better each day.
The Dallas Cowboys played their final preseason game on the West Coast last night. The West Coast hasn’t been particularly nice to the Cowboys in the preseason in these last couple of years.
It’s a good thing preseason games don’t towards end of the year standings. The Dallas Cowboys fell 23-6 to the San Fransisco 49ers Sunday evening.
Entering the off season, the biggest question for Dallas was… “Can the Dallas Cowboys keep the 2014 team together?”
Well, not so much.
On Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys faced up the 49ers at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara.
Evaluation of talent is hard. It’s even harder when it comes to preseason games.